The City of Portland put out a bid for construction services last week and ground-breaking for the project is expected to begin in early May.
The project has already been delayed about a year due to some wranglings with funding and process-related red tape between the City of Portland and the Federal Highway Administration. The main project is funded by the federal government to the tune of $5.25 million. Last spring the City of Portland decided to add $3 million of its own money to rebuild and repave the section between SE 82nd and 90th. That work required additional environmental approvals which delayed the project. Now with those contractual and funding obligations all ironed out the project is ready to move forward.
The Portland Bureau of Transportation wants to update the design of the road to make it safer and less stressful to use and live around. Foster is currently a designated High Crash Corridor with over 1,200 crashes and eight fatalities in the last 10 years. The current configuration of the 50-foot wide street includes five lanes for auto users and narrow, five-foot wide sidewalks. The new cross-section will have three lanes for auto users, two lanes for bicycle users, and wider, nine-foot sidewalks on both sides of the street. The project will also add new street tries, better lighting, safer crossings, and new transit shelters.
PBOT says, “The changes on Foster Road will help turn it into a successful Main Street by providing greater accessibility for all modes and a safer and attractive corridor that supports businesses and neighborhoods.”
While the project enjoys widespread support, there are some business owners and community members who fear the project will slow driving times and exacerbate gentrification in the area.
The city says construction is slated to begin in early May.
(In other east Portland project news, The Oregonian reported today that the Division Transit Project has been delayed due to cost overruns.)
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